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VILLAGES

MAP: The 50 most popular ‘pueblos’ to visit in Spain

How many of these picturesque small towns and villages loved by Spaniards have you visited?

MAP: The 50 most popular 'pueblos' to visit in Spain
Musement's map and three villages on the list: Consuegra, Bermeo and Bocairent. Photos: Libby Penner/Juanma Clemente/Josep Castells/Unsplash

With most international travel likely to be off the cards in 2021, a holiday within Spain is a far more likely choice for locals and foreign residents alike this spring or summer (once regional border closures and Covid restrictions are lifted, of course).

And while this may not evoke the sense of wanderlust and exoticism that many avid travellers will be craving after a year of travel bans, Spain is a wonderfully diverse country with plenty of beautiful hidden corners to discover, not least its many historic and charming villages.

There are more than 8,000 small towns and villages to choose from in Spain, but which ones are the best to visit?

A new study by tourism and events website Musement has shed some light on this. 

Analysing Google search data for all Spanish municipalities with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants, they’ve listed the most popular village in each of Spain’s 50 provinces in terms of most searches.

The results have been displayed in an insightful infographic, with a colour code indicating what population category each one falls into. 

So if you’re planning a quiet holiday in a Spanish village this year (or a road trip through a number of them), this map is a very handy place to start.

The most googled village in Spain is Peñíscola, a stunning coastal pueblo with cobbled streets, whitewashed houses and an imposing fortress, located in the country’s Valencia region. It has an average 74,000 monthly searches, so despite its beauty, it may not be the best place for a quiet holiday away from the crowds.

Photo: Kookay/Pixabay

The same can be said about the beautiful fishing village of Llanes in Asturias, or Hondarribia (Guipúzcoa, Basque country, pictured below) with its colourful balconies: both receive high search volumes from people looking to visit.

Photo: Eric Prouzet/Unsplash

So for those who are looking to avoid the crowds, the villages of Guadalest (Alicante), Pedraza (Segovia), Miravet (Tarragona) and Medinaceli (Soria), are better options since they have populations under 1,000 people.

For mountain lovers, the villages of Jaca (Huesca), Cervera de Pisuerga (Palencia), Albarracín (Teruel), Cazorla (Jaén) or Lerma (Burgos) are destinations that provide both culture and nature attractions.

There are also villages on the list with plenty of history and mysticism, from Garachico in Tenerife which was completely buried under lava after a volcanic eruption in 1706, to the town of Consuegra (Toledo) where Don Quijote rode through in Cervantes’ classic novel, and the village Trujillo (Cáceres) where Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro was from.

Cambados (Pontevedra), Haro (La Rioja) or Laguardia (Álava) are also recommended as popular destinations.

But all of the Spanish villages on this list – and plenty more amazing ones that aren’t – are worth a visit one day, once this wretched pandemic is no longer ruling over our lives.

In anticipation of that day, we wish you a ¡buen viaje! (good/safe travels).  

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TRAVEL NEWS

US to end Covid testing requirement for travellers from Europe

Authorities in the USA have announced the end of the Covid-testing requirement for arrivals from Europe, meaning that fully vaccinated people will soon be able to travel between Europe and the US without needing pre-travel tests.

US to end Covid testing requirement for travellers from Europe

Most of Europe had dropped the testing requirement for fully-vaccinated arrivals in the spring, but the US has maintained the requirement to show proof of a negative test for all arrivals.

However on Friday, the Biden administration announced that it would not renew the testing requirement.

The new rule is expected to come into effect at 12.01 Sunday EDT, until then passengers will still need to show a negative Covid test before they can board a plane to the US.

The US currently bars unvaccinated travellers from entry – although this does not apply to US citizens, US residents or those travelling for essential reasons – there was no announcement on lifting this restriction. 

The CDC said that testing requirements could be reinstated if new variants of Covid emerge, and added that it continues to recommend pre-travel testing. 

Covid travel rules vary between individual countries in Europe, but most countries now only require pre-departure tests for unvaccinated travellers. Check the rules of the country you are travelling to for full details. 

To be counted as ‘fully vaccinated’ travellers must have received both doses of an EMA-approved vaccine – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca (or a single dose of Janssen).

If their vaccination was more than nine months ago, they need a booster shot in order to be considered fully vaccinated – people who have had a booster do not need a second, even if their booster shot was more than nine months ago.

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